As we developed the system and worked out the kinks over the past few months, we have also had to change some of our habits in preparation for our Declaration of Independence from the Grid. Mike had already installed LED lights throughout the house. We did not replace our dryer when it died on us, and I instead put up a clothesline across our computer room. We bought more energy-efficient LED computer monitors. We began running the water maker only during the day. We still haven't replaced the TV and refrigerator that are power hogs, but that will happen in its own good time.
Relying on the sun for our power, we are much more connected to the circadian rhythms of life now. We time our power-using activities to how much sun we have. I can no longer surf the "net and play computer games from before dawn and until 11:00 a.m. or so, as I was accustomed to do; instead, I read on the Kindle Fire until the sun comes up. My very bad habit of wasting a lot of time on computer games is nearly completely broken now, and I'm better off for that.
Sometimes I even cook breakfast in the mornings, an unexpected benefit of the solar power system that Mike especially appreciates. Mike's habit of sitting up very late into the night and reading has also changed, which is an unexpected benefit that I appreciate.
We will add a wind turbine sometime in the next few weeks, to provide electricity during stormy weather. We'll use some of that power to chill another bottle of champagne, and then we'll lift our glasses in another toast to our excommunication from the grid.
Ramona Byron resides in Oceanside, CA with her husband, Michael P. Byron. She is a shameless liberal rabble-rouser. As a Navy veteran, she possesses an arsenal of invective that would have impressed Andrew Breitbart. Too bad it's too late now to give him a taste of it.
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